Given by The Wife, after missing a lob in badminton:
“I’ve got old eyes.”
I don’t often remember my dreams, but every once in a while, a doozy comes along that’s not only memorable but has an unaccountable vividness to it which leaves me dumbfounded, staring at the cieling in the morning, mouthing “What the FXXX? What the FXXX?” until my wife tells me to shut up.
And I never forget them, either.
(Matthew might be able to dig up the one I sent him a number of years ago about the two brothers in the Russian Mafia….)
At any rate, I had this dream last night. And I swear on a stack of Psychology of the Unconscious’s (in the original German even) that there is not one bit of embellishment here.
The scene opens with a little boy in bed, crying out into the silence of the dark house. Everyone’s just gone to bed.
“Time for pie?”
The boy’s father, gruff but loved by the boy, says, “No, Tim, it is not.”
His father and mother are lying in bed, side by side. This question and answer routine is a nightly occurrence – or at least ever night before Tim’s father takes him to a special place for pie.
Tim waits a few minutes, looking at his clock.
“Time for pie?”
Tim giggles, thinking his father is impatient with him. He decides to wait a little longer before asking again.
Meanwhile, his father has taken his last breath.
Skip ahead many, many years. Tim is an old man.
We’re inside his head.
He’s just walked into the diner his father would take him to early in the morning before the others were awake. It’s a busy but quiet place – old people clustering around the dinner counter. The smell of cigarette smoke and coffee brewing predominate the brownish pre-dawn air.
Still in his own mind, Tim wants the pie. He walks this way and that around the hive of activity at the dinner counter. He can’t have the pie. Too many people occupy the counter seats. Too much work for the waitress behind the counter. No one is noticing him.
Then a pair of old women turn, cigarettes in their mouths.
Smiling, they say, “Time for pie?”
“Yes,” Tim says, slowly nodding.
Just then his older sister appears. She’s about two years his senior. He’s no longer in his head but in a sterile nursing home residence. The cards, flowers, stuffed animals, the whole bit. She has just walked into his room and suddenly stops. She has a shocked look on her face which gentles with a sympathetic awareness.
“No, Tim, it’s not time for pie,” she says with a condescending, sisterly voice – if that can be imagined.
Tim looks down at the pie and realizes he’s been eating his clock radio – literally, whacking pieces from it with a fork and knife and trying to devour it. He tastes the bits of plastic in his mouth. He doesn’t spit them out. He looks down at the clock. It’s still plugged into the wall socket.
Tim cries out with great disappointment, holding the clock from its electrical cord.
Fade to black or waking or whatever….
In the 2006 offseason, the Spokane Indians baseball team began a process to redesign their logo and uniforms. As per tradition, they began by avoiding the use of any American Indian imagery, but early in the process of redesign, the Spokane Nation contacted the team about officially supporting the team. In the process, the tribe gave permission to the team to adopt subtle and tasteful imagery, in order to pay homage to the team’s history and new connection with the tribe. The cooperation, called “historic” by the team, included the creation of a secondary logo written in Salish, the traditional language of the tribe. [Source: Wikipedia]
This is the day the Spokane Indians come to Everett in a contest which will decide the fate of the civilized world. Not only do The Indians represent the worst that humanity has to offer, not only will the contest on the field be the visible representation of a deeper spiritual battle, it will also represent the struggle to rid America of the last of the racist/sexist mascot names in sport (now that The Expositions are now The Nationals).
It will be titanic.
…I sure as heck wouldn’t be blogging, now would I? Seriously, I would follow my book The Life You Save May Be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage, which interwove the lives of American Catholic writers Walker Percy, Flannery O’Connor, Dorothy Day, and Thomas Merton, with an English sequel, giving the same treatment to Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene, Muriel Spark, and Alec Guinness. Every time I think I’m really over being any sort of Anglophile, I come across some new bit of goodness. Last week, it was Piers Paul Read’s Guinness bio, which opens with the line, “My mother was a whore…”
File under: things I’d do if I weren’t a hack journalist.
Rufus McCain saw a car today with four bumper stickers: 1. “I’m heavily armed and easily pissed off”; 2. “God is awesome”; 3. “In guns we trust”; 4. “God loves you”
Adrienne O’Doherty likes this.
Alex Martini God may love you…. but I keel you!!! LOL (Achmed the Dead Terrorist)
Marcus Carver Either a very ironic funny man or a seriously disturbed and conflicted man. But definitely a man.
Felix Arnold Must be one of the “alleluia and pass the ammunition!” crowd. Comforting to know islam does not have a monopoly on armed fanatics.
Shelby McMorris Pretty confident who you’d stand behind in a fight. I’d take the God fearing, proud to be a gun owner, American citizen any day.
And seriously, comparing him to an armed Islam fanatic? Really? One would do everything to fight for you the other wants to cut off your head.
Adrienne O’Doherty OH GAWD. Let the eyerolling begin.
Rufus McCain Marcus: I thought the same thing. But when I pulled up alongside *him* at a red light, being very careful not to piss anyone off, the driver turned out to be a very mild looking lady with an Indian feather thing hanging from the rearview mirror. Maybe the bumper stickers are his and hers.
Kathryn Kafka Wow. That’s pretty funny!
Felix Arnold OK, equating this particular person with a armed fanatic (of any sort) is an exaggeration because I really don’t know that this person is a fanatic. (Certainly declaring “God is awesome” isn’t fanatical.) I was admittedly taking the opportunity to express my point that an armed fanatic is an armed fanatic, irregardless of their faith. (BTW, I would not want any armed fanatic “fighting for me”, even if – no – especially if, they claim to share my faith.)
Rufus – remain on the cautious side and don’t underestimate mild looking ladies. She could be armed!
Clementine Miranda Poe his and hers! that would be awesome.
Johanna McCain Definitely a one car “mixed” marriage!
Thadeus McCain schizophrenia or some other undiagnosed mental illness aka “Glen Beck groupie”.
Lawrence Armstrong Hey….That’s my Momma’s car.
Maria Martini @ Shelby – it’s a comedy routine, relax!
Nannette Johnson Dalloway Just saw this quote and thought of that car: “It is time we circled the wagons, pulled out the artillery, rolled up our sleeves, and readied ourselves to be tough with the devil.” Rod Parsley
Johanna McCain The problem is: who is the devil? Your devil may not be my devil.
Thadeus McCain Maybe just a blantant case of sarcasm.
Corrina Wilder rofl at the stickers and all the comments! Love ya’ll!!
December 12, 1969
Your Note [about “Mr. Sammler’s Planet”] did me a lot of good, though I haven’t known what or how to answer. Of course the so-called fabricators will be grinding their knives. They have none of that ingenuous, possibly childish love of literature you and I have. They take a sort of Roman engineering view of things: grind everything to rubble and build cultural monuments on this foundation from which to fly the Bullshit flag.
Anyway, it pleases me greatly that you liked “Sammler.” There aren’t many people in the trade for whom I have any use. But I knew when I hit Chicago (was it twelve years ago?) and read your stories that you were the real thing. When I was a little kid, there were still blacksmiths around, and I’ve never forgotten the ring of a real hammer on a real anvil.
Do you like Woodstock? I lived across the river for eight years. Was it living? But the place was not to blame. It was beautiful.